Turkish Foreign Minister Fidan could soon visit Moscow to discuss the Black Sea grain deal, and he can meet with Russian President Vladamir Putin in September “if the opportunity arises,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 20 told reporters on his flight back from a visit to Hungary.
"Our sole objective here, as evidenced by our telephone conversations with Mr. Putin, is to elicit a positive stance from Russia regarding the grain corridor issue," Erdoğan said, once again expressing his plans to meet face-to-face with Putin, according to online news outlet T24.
Erdoğan reminded that the G-20 meeting will be held in India and the United Nations General Assembly will be held in the United States in September and said, "If the opportunity arises within this busy schedule, we will meet face-to-face with Mr. Putin and have a conversation."
He also signaled a possible visit from Fidan, "Soon, our Minister of Foreign Affairs might undertake a trip to Russia. Because discussing this matter face-to-face holds significant importance, and obtaining results in this manner would be much more accurate.”
When asked about the possibility of renewed peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, Erdoğan replied, "We are making efforts towards that and it is our wish. We extensively discussed these matters during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit and our detailed conversations during the NATO Leaders Summit. I hope that with both leaders' approval for our mediation, we will achieve (positive) results."
The Black Sea grain initiative was brokered in July 2022 among Turkey, the United Nations, and Russia. The objective was to provide Ukraine, a significant global source of grain, with a means to transport its grain from its southern ports through the Bosphorus strait. Russia on July 17 withdrew from the deal and started to bomb Ukraine's Black Sea ports.
Sweden's NATO membership depends on ‘keeping promises’
When asked whether there would be a change in Turkey's stance when the process regarding Sweden's NATO membership comes to the Turkish Parliament and whether this matter has been discussed with the parties of the ruling People's Alliance, Erdoğan stated that Sweden’s membership approval was “directly depend on it’s commitment to the promises made."
Referring to the consecutive incidents of the Quran burning in Sweden, the President stated, “They should take no offense if Sweden continues to not do something about what's happening in the streets of Stockholm and attacks on our sacred values continue to take place.”
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership shortly after Russia launched its war on Ukraine in February 2022.
Although Turkey approved Finland's NATO membership, it is waiting for Sweden to fulfill its commitments not to provide “shelter to terrorists or supporters of terrorists and not to facilitate their actions.”
At a July NATO summit in Lithuania, Erdoğan agreed to forward to the Turkish parliament Sweden's bid to join NATO for a ratification vote. As parliament is currently on summer recess, it will take up the legislation this fall. All current members of NATO have to agree to any new additions.